County golf tournament coming soon

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published May 6, 2016


Oakland County routinely produces some of the best golf squads in the state, and on May 18 they will all converge for an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start at the Pontiac Country Club for the Division 1 Oakland County Tournament.

This year is no different, as the field will feature seven schools ranked in the state across all four divisions.

“This is one of the greatest invitationals we play in all year. … It’s a real measuring stick,” Troy Athens coach Dan Cooper said. “It lets you know how you’re going to do in states, because the best teams in the state, I think, are in Oakland County.”
Bloomfield Hills High coach Dave Barrett agreed.

“That field is outstanding, because you have all divisions and some of the best teams in the state,” he said. “It’s going to be a really solid field; that’s always a great preview for the state tournament.”

Last season, Novi Detroit Catholic Central won the country tournament and then went on to win the D-1 state championship. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood was second in the county and then finished second in the D-2 final.

Catholic Central and Cranbrook again lead the field this time around. At press time, the Shamrocks were ranked No. 1 in D-1 and Cranbrook was holding at second in D-2.

“Ahead of the field is Catholic Central. We know our league (Oakland Activities Association Red Division) is going to bring in some talent, but right now, I can’t even explain how good Catholic Central is,” Troy High coach John Getzan said, noting that in a tournament earlier in the season where all the Red teams and Catholic Central played, the Shamrocks won the event by double digits.

Making the field
Where teams finish also has standing on where they’ll play next season.  The bottom three teams are bumped down to the Division 2 county tournament the following year. Meanwhile, the top three squads from the D-2 tournament are moved up the following season, with the exception of the D-2 champion, which gets an automatic same-season bid to the D-1 field.

Along with the tournament winner, the top four individuals from the D-2 tournament who were not on the championship team also earn a same-season bid for the D-1 tourney.

The D-2 tournament was held May 6, after press time. For results, visit

Those already with their tickets punched to the Pontiac Country Club are Birmingham Seaholm, Walled Lake Central, Auburn Hills Avondale, Catholic Central, Cranbrook, Rochester High, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Adams, Birmingham Brother Rice, Troy, Clarkston High, Holly High, Farmington High, North Farmington, South Lyon High, Novi High, Athens, Lake Orion High, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Lakeland High, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Berkley High.

Staying the course
The Pontiac Country Club has played host for the event for more than 20 years.

Playing more than 6,300 yards, it’s a test of accuracy and patience.

“You have to take your opportunities and make birdies when you can,” Berkley coach Scott Baltes said. “You can’t take big risks, because on that course, you can get yourself in trouble. It’s a course you can score well on, so it’s just keeping the mistakes to a minimum.”

Cooper said the greens provide a unique challenge.

“It’s a good test of golf. The greens are tough and sloped either right to left or front to back,” he said. “Kids are used to greens being sloped like a backstop.”

Barrett said the course’s looks are deceiving.

“The course appears on the easy side, but it’s absolutely not,” he said. “There are many holes that are straightforward, but you have to hit your spots and play smart.”

Spectators are welcome free of charge but must stay out of the line of play of the competitors.